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Opinion: Zim’s opposition on death bed

The once vibrant opposition movement in the country, which came close to overthrowing Zanu PF in the much contested 2008 elections, has beyond doubt weakened and this has left scores of people questioning its ability to challenge the more than three decade rule enjoyed by Zanu PF.

The overwhelming victory by Zanu PF in the previously held elections seems to have posed a huge blow to the opposition parties which are now evidently struggling to deal with their controversial defeat.

Furthermore, the opposition has compounded their weakness by virtue of their recent power struggles as evidenced by the all but formal split of the MDC-T. On the other hand the new parties such as the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) are struggling with local government by-elections, a clear sign that the parties are either not well organised or are inexperienced.

The internal fights within the MDC-T have caused the party to dwell on nothing else save for attempts to resolve succession issues. These internal fights have left thousand of Zimbabweans clueless as to what next for opposition politics in Zimbabwe.

Donors have since started pulling out of the already weakened MDC –T which is a major blow to the opposition movement. On the other hand the renewal team led by Tendai Biti is failing to mobilise supporters as evidenced by the fewer number of supporters who attend their meetings.

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While the opposition parties are struggling, Zanu PF has already started to organise its structures from ward level amid the 2018 presidential elections.  The ‘revolutionary  party ’  has already started mobilising  people in  the rural areas,  a move which might  see the party  continuing  to rule.

All the other political parties that sprung after the July 31 elections including the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), the Mthwakazi Republic Party and the Zimbabwe Youth Council have also fallen in the brackets of the main opposition parties.

Opposition parties often sprout a few months before elections which raise questions about their capacity and ability to initiate change or proffer long term alternative leadership for Zimbabweans.


While the MDC-T is the only party that came close to removing Zanu Pf from power in 2008, its divisions make this one-time possibility appear to be a pipedream.   Especially if the power struggles are not resolved.

The stance of not participating in the June 10 by elections by the MDC formations is a major blow to the opposition. This will see Zanu PF gaining majority of the seats in parliament leaving the few remaining MDC legislators vulnerable.

Since the expulsion of the MPs last month, there has been a lot of confusion as to whether or not the party would maintain its congress resolution. It is alleged that Morgan Tsvangirai and Thokozani Khuphe are not in agreement on the decision to boycott the forthcoming by elections. If this is true, it will further weaken the already struggling movement.

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Afro-barometre, a South African based think-tank recently released results of its survey which testifies that the opposition is no longer popular amongst the people of Zimbabwe.  The opposition has nothing to offer and is in disarray constantly fighting each other, chasing each other from Parliament.

As it stands, it still remains that Zanu PF is powerful and has the muscles to continue dominating the political circles. However the birth of many political parties might provide a chance for political diversity a situation in which Zimbabweans will have a wide range of choices on which party to vote for.

The Opposition’s main role is to question the government of the day and hold them accountable to the public. The Opposition is equally responsible in upholding the best interests of the people of the country. They have to ensure that the Government does not take any steps, which might have negative implications on the people of the country.

Given the current state of the of the opposition, It is totally impossible for it to serve as the alternative government hence it should not be a shock, to see Zanu PF escalading to power once again.

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Journalist based in Harare

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